Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Business owners and their customers are intimately familiar with trying to log in to some online account before receiving a text message that contains a code. Before you can enter your account, you must submit this unique code, which is a multi-factor authentication mechanism. 

Intuitively, this multi-step security protocol protects sensitive data, including business data and customer information. 


Why is Multi-Factor Authentication Important?

Isn't a username and password enough when logging into an online space? No, mainly because data breaches, identity theft, and hacking are more prevalent than ever before. 

In many cases, a username and password won't protect your organization's information. The ease with which cybercriminals can figure out a username and password is shocking to most people. 

Whether you're a business owner or a casual web surfer, multi-factor authentication is vital to digital security because it requires a user to identify themselves in multiple ways.


How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

Are you trying to access a customer file with sensitive information like a credit card number or an address? With multi-factor authentication in place, the process would look something like this:

  • You enter a username and password.
  • You receive a message with a four-digit passcode.
  • You enter this code after providing the initial username and password.

It's that simple. Of course, you may already know this as a time-based one-time password, which is one type of a multi-factor authentication method. It provides a time-sensitive password for one-time use sent to an email or phone number so that third parties trying to get into your account cannot do so without access to your email or phone.


A Word on Adaptive Authentication

Also known as risk-based authentication, adaptive authentication uses several factors to authenticate an attempted login. It covers the following:

  • Time: When was the login attempted? Was this during work hours? A login after hours may not be an employee.
  • Location: Did the login occur from an unfamiliar location?
  • Device: Is this the same device this person always uses?

This additional authentication factor requires the user's identity for verification. That way, only verified users can access your company's data, keeping vulnerable information safe. 

A Microsoft report claimed that this kind of multi-factor authentication could block about 99.9% of automated attacks. 


Should Your Company Implement More Stringent Authentication Measures?

If you're thinking about the security of your client information or sensitive data, your business is likely in need of a few extra layers of protection. Nearly all industries are at risk of data breaches, though banks and healthcare companies are still among the most frequent targets. Are you ready to face the cyber threats that your business might face online?


Protect Your Business from Threats

Multi-factor authentication through an authenticator app could safeguard your business, keep your organization's data intact, and give you peace of mind about your business's arsenal against cyber threats. 



Additional Information

CISA: More than a Password




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By Denis Wilson

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

Thanks for reading this post. I always take into mind that your time and attention are precious. And these posts need to be timely, to the point, and short. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPIA Blogs. You can also find me on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook

I am also a published author and speaker on cloud computing, work-from-anywhere, and cybersecurity. I work extensively with business and professional associations to provide small business technology education programs.

Contact me if you have any questions about the subject. I'd be happy to spend 15 minutes discussing it with you.